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Parishioners help Witton Gilbert church raise the roof
1:30pm Tuesday 15th October 2013 in News
PARISHIONERS have raised thousands of pounds for a new roof for their historic church.
St Michael and All Angels Church, in Witton Gilbert, near Durham City, is offering people the opportunity to sign the slates used to repair the roof, in return for a donation.
Hundreds of names of loved ones have been written on the slates in an initiative known as Your Name in the Sky.
The initiative was launched with a special weekend event at which more than 300 slates were signed, and has helped raise more than £8,000 in donations towards the work.
Work on replacing the church roof is half way through, with a likely finish date of December or early January, and is to cost more than £100,000.
Parochial Church Council (PCC) member Stephen Ellis said: "More than 700 slates have been purchased and we suggested that people donated £5 a slate. However, we have had donations of £50 or more.
"Support has come not just from the local communities of Witton Gilbert and Sacriston but from further afield, from places like Manchester and Worthing.
"It has really captured the imagination and enthusiasm of people. It has been a tremendous effort."
Mr Ellis believes that the initiative has also encouraged grant-making bodies such as the English Heritage, which awarded £55,000 towards work at the 800-year-old church.
The work is part of a £262,000 investment to support the church’s Breathing Space programme, a health and well-being project which is designed to make the building more accessible to the public and includes courses such as art and relaxation, along with healing sessions and teaching people about wildlife.
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